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Both Dan and Truett Cathy, and other family members, will be present to participate in grand opening activities.
As the chain does with each of its new free-standing restaurant openings, Chick-fil-A will celebrate the opening of the St. Petersburg restaurant by giving away $26,000 in free Chick-fil-A food. A one-year supply of free Chick- fil-A(R) Combo Meals (52 coupons) will be given away to the first 100 adults, age 18 and older with identification, in line by 5:30 a.m. at the new free- standing restaurant at 2471 Tyrone Blvd. on Thursday, Jan. 19. The line can begin forming up to 24 hours prior to the opening, with the prizes being awarded on Jan. 19 between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. The restaurant will officially open for business at 6:30 a.m.
"This is a proud moment for our family," said Dan Cathy. "To be here with my son, along with my father who created the opportunity for all of us in the Chick-fil-A organization, is indeed special. My wife and I are also proud that our son has chosen to follow his father's and grandfather's career path."
"We've given away more than $3 million in free Chick-fil-A food since we launched the 'First 100 Fans' promotion in 2003 to celebrate each grand opening," added Cathy. "It's our way of thanking our raving fans who have supported Chick-fil-A and who continue to show their devotion by camping out in all kinds of weather conditions."
With campers often arriving as much as 24 hours in advance and coming from hours away, the parking lot fills with tents, lawn chairs, TVs and games while the crowd enjoys entertainment, games, food and even a midnight Chick-fil-A Ice Dream party. "It becomes a big overnight tailgating party," said Cathy, who has camped out at more than 50 of the openings.
Andrew Cathy is Truett Cathy's oldest grandchild and the first of the Cathy family's "third generation" to pursue a Chick-fil-A career operating one of the chain's restaurants. After working for the restaurant chain as a teen and graduating from the University of Georgia, Cathy worked as a high school teacher and track coach in Atlanta for the past two years.
Truett Cathy is marking several milestones this year including the 60th year anniversary of the opening of his first restaurant, the Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, Ga., from which the Chick-fil-A chain was launched. Also celebrated this year is the 20th anniversary of Chick-fil-A's first free-standing restaurant.